SPOTSYLVANIA — Two dogs were killed during an incident in Spotsylvania in which the dogs seriously injured a young woman and bit one of the deputies who had come to the scene, police said.
Sheriff’s Capt. C.A. Carey said deputies responded about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday after receiving calls about a woman being attacked outside her residence.
The attack on the woman was over by then, but the dogs later turned on the deputies and were shot, Carey said.
The large dogs were described as Cane Corsos, or Italian mastiffs. They lived at the same residence as the woman, and Carey said he does not know what caused one of them to attack the woman.
Dannie Canter, who lives in the neighborhood, said he was on his way home Wednesday afternoon when he heard a woman screaming and saw a dog mauling her.
He said several men with garden tools were trying to assist the woman when he got out of his vehicle, ran into the yard and jumped on the dog.
Canter said he managed to break the dog’s hold on the woman long enough for her to slide from under the animal. He said the woman looked like the victim of a “shark attack” and said he wasn’t sure how she managed to get back into her house.
Canter said the dogs remained aggressive, but never left the yard. He said both dogs surprisingly went into their garage when he told them to.
“It was chaotic,” Canter said.
When the first deputy arrived, the dogs came back out of the garage and headed toward the deputy, Canter said. That deputy eventually slipped in a ditch and was bitten by one of the dogs. Canter said he then struck that dog with a flashlight the deputy had dropped.
The dogs went back into the garage again before more deputies and animal control officers arrived. The dogs came charging out again and one was shot by a deputy as it lunged toward an animal control officer, Canter said.
The dog that had attacked the woman was then shot as he went toward one of the deputies.
“I’m an animal lover and that was a hard thing for me to see,” Canter said. “But the officers did what they had to do under the circumstances.”
Carey said the bitten deputy had a significant wound on the upper part of his leg. He received staples at a local hospital and was released Wednesday night.
The woman, who is in her 20s, was rushed to a hospital and had emergency surgery, authorities said. She was still in the hospital Thursday. An infant was inside the house at the time of the attack and was not harmed.
Both dogs were treated at an animal hospital before being pronounced dead.
Canter said his main concern is for the injured woman.
“I’m just praying that she’s OK.”